Chinese city introduces mobile phone lanes for pedestrians

15 Sep 2014

Chongqing citizens using the new mobile phone highway. Image: Telegraph.

In what seems like an elaborate prank, the Chinese city of Chongqing has taken the seemingly drastic step to create pedestrian lanes for mobile phone users.

The city of 28m people has created the painted lanes to allow mobile users to stare and walk with their device, something which has proven difficult with so many obstacles in the average city.

According to The Telegraph, the 100ft-long ‘highway’ is seemingly a proud addition by the city’s council who have erected a sign beside the highway declaring it the first mobile sidewalk in the country, with the painted markings on the path warning users “Cellphones. Walk in this area at your own risk.”

However, it is understood that the Chinese officials do not necessarily want to promote the lane as a solution to a problem, but rather as a way of showing mobile phone users that it might just be best to walk with a little more care.

Speaking to the Chinese English language website, the People Daily, local resident Wang Li said he was behind the idea: “In my mind, these sidewalks help a lot in minimizing security risks for mobile phone addicts.”

With the number of mobile phones in China expected to reach 500m this year, the country is currently the largest market for devices in the world.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic